Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Afpak paradigm adjustments

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    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Afpak paradigm adjustments

    Three Fronts of War, Three Years to Make It Work

    Thomas P.M. Barnett

    On Monday,President Obama promised to stick with his timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, but he also upped the ante on the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan by calling it a "war of necessity" against Al Qaeda and its allies (read: the Taliban). But here's the catch: Al Qaeda has already been evicted from Afghanistan and won't be evicted from northwest Pakistan by anybody other than the Pakistanis themselves (and we're talkingbadlandswhere Islamabad has never exactly had landlord status). That means our current strategy consists of fighting our way through the Afghani Taliban to get to the Pakistani Taliban (and thus, quite frankly, through them to the Pakistani military and intelligence services) to get to Al Qaeda. That, my friends, is called doing it the hard way.

    And what would be the end result of the American military pulling off this seeming miracle? Al Qaeda would simply move somewhere else equally off-grid, resurfacing deeper in Central Asia or sub-Saharan Africa, and we'd begin this drones-versus-desperados show all over again in aMatrix-like reboot. Truth be told, absent Pakistan's nukes and its sordid history of sharing such technology,there is no great strategic argument for driving Al Qaeda out of its mountain cave lair. As far as our "machine world" is concerned, there will always be a number of "Zions" out there, demanding their back-to-the-future enclave be respected for what it is: a desire to disconnect from a "corrupt world."

    So what will American end up doing? Inevitably, we'll cut deals granting local autonomy not all that different from the one Islamabad recently tried with the Pakistani Taliban. And guess what? Those deals will consistently backfire until the locals — including the so-called moderate Taliban (you know, your baseline misogynists) — decide that harboring Al Qaeda isn't worth the harm frequently visited upon them by outside forces. But even when that distant day comes, expect the Taliban to remain Taliban.

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    Thomas P.M. Barnett always adds a clarity, and context
    to work from.

    In this posting his ordering of the current paradigm feels
    about right.

    I'd just add that the Drone component needs to be expanded, more drone hits and fewer civilian damages.

    Beheading al Qaeda and the Taliban is effective.
    Their leaders are the one per centers, those capable
    of leading and controlling the insurgency, they are limited
    in numbers.

    As the quality of leadership drops so will those
    willing to support them or follow them.

    We have seen this recently with Baitullah's succession,
    and the deaths that followed.

    The other component is rallying the Afpak people
    to remove the terrorists.

    There currently is no mechanism to interact with
    the majority of the Ummah.

    FM radios paradigm is unworkable, they listen
    to prayers, and battries are scarce and precious.

    If we can win their minds and hearts some will
    turn on the Terrorists. Giving the leads to take
    out the one per centers.

    But the Ummah needs the electrical grid to have
    the luxury of listening to the Radio for other
    than prayers.

    Its the terrorist that are broadcasting the prayers.
    Most just listen at dusk, for the prayers, and terrorist

    For them turning on the radio to use the battries
    is kind of a religous requirement, for prayers.

    Change that paradigm and they will listen all day
    if they have the electrical power.

    Somebody said Music has the power to sooth the
    savage beast.

    If they have the elect. power it becomes an ratings
    demographic to get them to listen to a message.

    Instead of "Abbott and Costello" comedy radio show,
    it could be a Pashtun " Taliban Abbott and al Qaeda Costello" comedy
    radio show. Exposing the terrorist paradigm. ridiculing al Qaeda with humor,
    Comedian and anthropologist teams.


    For Obama to have a second term he has to
    take out Binny, Big Z and Omar. That would
    be viewed as good progress.
    And Barnett is right, globlization will bring
    more of these Terrorist, USA needs a Paradigm
    to deal with them.
    reaction to Globalization




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